Chess Grandmaster Probably Cheated In More Than 100 Online Games, Investigation Finds

The report comes amid rumors that Hans Niemann, 19, used a sex toy to win a match against world champion Magnus Carlsen last month.

U.S. chess grandmaster Hans Niemann cheated more than 100 times in his online professional career, a new report claims.

A 72-page report from Chess.com alleges that he broke the rules and “likely cheated in more than 100 online chess games, including several prize money events.”

The report also noted that Niemann confessed to cheating on numerous occasions in a private phone call with the platform’s chief chess officer, Danny Rensch.

The document comes just a month after world chess champion Magnus Carlsen suggested Niemann, 19, was a cheater, which fueled rumors of Niemann using vibrating anal beads to communicate with his coach.

During a match against Niemann on Sept. 19, Carlsen, the world’s No. 1 champion, made a single move and then quit the game, according to The Guardian. He then posted a cryptic tweet announcing that he refused to play against Niemann in order to “preserve the game of chess.”

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen accused Hans Niemann, 19, of cheating.
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen accused Hans Niemann, 19, of cheating.
ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images

“I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen wrote on Twitter a week after the match, addressing the matter.

“His over-the-board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup, I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do,” he added.

Amid the buzzing rumors about the wirelessly controlled beads, Niemann offered to play in the nude to prove he wasn’t cheating.

“If they want me to strip fully naked, I will do it. I don’t care because I know I am clean,” Niemann said at the time.

Niemann initially denied the cheating accusations but allegedly told Chess.com he had cheated only two times — once when he was 12 and once at 16 — calling the decision the “single biggest mistake of my life,” according to The Guardian.

The report also said that many of the tournaments he cheated in included cash prizes.

After Niemann questioned last month why he was banned from the Global Championship, a million-dollar prize event, the Chess.com chief chess officer, Danny Rensch, responded with a written explanation.

Suggesting that Niemann showcased suspicious moves, Rensch wrote, “There always remained serious concerns about how rampant your cheating was in prize events.”

He went on to imply that Niemann used a chess engine to identify the best moves.

“We are prepared to present strong statistical evidence that confirm each of those cases above, as well as clear ‘toggling’ vs. ‘non-toggling’ evidence, where you perform much better while toggling to a different screen during your moves,” Rensch added.

According to the report, Chess.com has anti-cheating measures in place, including various cheat-detection tools, that have caught many of the game’s players cheating.

Niemann has not yet issued a statement on the report’s findings.

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